It has been announced that the recipients of half of the 2008 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine are Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier for apparently discovering HIV. They will get a quarter of the prize money each. The winner of the other half is Harald Zur Hausen for allegedly discovering that the human papilloma virus causes cervical cancer.
There have been one or two serious lapses of judgement on the part of the Nobel Prize committee over the years but this year takes the biscuit so far. To award a prize for the discovery of HIV is to overlook some serious deficiencies in that claim. For instance:
- Luc Montagnier admitted in 1997 that they had not actually purified any virus, claiming a distinction between 'isolating' and 'purifiying'. well, as the Perth Group pointed out, if it hasn't been purified, then it isn't isolated. He even said, "I repeat, we did not purify".
- He also admitted that the pieces of evidence were individually non-specific but claimed they were specific collectively. For example, detecting the presence of reverse transcriptase activity is nowhere near proof of the existence of ANY retrovirus, let alone a specific new one, because reverse transcriptase is widespread throughout the body anyway. So that cannot be taken to be a contributory piece of evidence, especially when Luc Montagnier admitted that they did not see particles that had the morphology of retroviruses and said that they had not found any particles even after a "Roman effort". That means there were no particles the size or shape of retroviruses.
- Only a few years prior to the award, an international symposium was held in France, at the Pasteur institute, in order to determine the necessary procedure for showing you have isolated and proved the existence of a new retrovirus. The secretary of those proceedings was Francoise Barre-Sinousssi. Yet this award overlooks the fact that Barre-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier completely ignored the guidelines that came out of that symposium.
- He has also said that "HIV is neither necessary nor sufficient to cause AIDS" - until a bit more recently when he seems to have suppressed his own dissenting role. Not only that, he has recently written a new book about the role of oxidative stress in AIDS, a notion the Perth Group put forward some years ago.
The evidence used to support their prize award put forward by the Nobel committee includes a picture of particles budding from a cell. This is nowhere near evidence of a unique retrovirus because so many cells will spew out particles when they are put under conditions of great stress. The fact that they didn't show a sample of purified HIV particles is an indirect admission that there aren't any.
However, they appear to have got one thing right: Despite a legal agreement between Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo that they both found 'HIV' to cover up the sordid history of the science, the Nobel committe seem to be sufficiently clear that at least Robert Gallo was definitely not the discoverer of this alleged virus. We can take some consolation that we can easily imagine Robert Gallo wailing and gnashing his teeth like a demented ghost, for not having been included. Due to Montagnier's earlier reticence at claiming he had found the cause of AIDS saying, "The role of the virus in the etiology of AIDS remains to be proven", it was really only Robert Gallo's bold public proclamation of having found the 'probable' cause of AIDS that brought the notion of this specific new virtual retrovirus to world attention, and without Gallo's uber-successful fraud it might never have happened this way.
So it appears Robert Gallo, who was desperate for a number of years to win a Nobel Prize himself as the ultimate scientific accolade, In a very practical sense has helped his original rival to scoop the prize. And In doing so in such a blatantly fraudulent manner (whereas Montagnier et al's approach was closer to mere incompetence) he has effectively excluded himself from it. In other words, the most financially successful scientific fraudster in history has been denied the very thing he coveted most - the Nobel Prize. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when he heard the news.